One thing that follows loss, is grief.
A strange emotion that comes & goes whenever it pleases and one that only seems to dull with time.
When I was hit with grief, I had no idea what it was. Of course now looking back, it makes sense. However, when you’re going through it you don’t always realise. Grief is usually associated with losing a family member or a friend to death. However, miscarriage & baby loss serves grief in a particular way. Of course, grief is not simple and you can even grieve for other elements of the experience itself. I have grieved for the babies I have lost.. but also for “the old me” and “our old life” too.
It was only during a recent conversation with a friend that I realised the sad feeling I experienced when thinking about my past.. was infact grief. I grieve feeling carefree, the unknown of one day being a Mum, the naivety. I grieve for my relationship with my Husband pre-miscarriages, for our chats of parenthood, the excited glow we will never experience again. I feel it so very deep some days and other days it is barely there.
Whilst I do not believe there is any easy way to banish grief (if only!) and that time is definitely the healer here, there are definitely some methods of coping with it on the bad days. These are what have helped me along the way…
Sometimes it can be easier to fight how we feel rather than accept it. As soon as I realised that grief is simply what follows loss of any kind.. it made dealing with it easier. I could read about it and instantly felt less alone in the way I was feeling and the thoughts I was having.
Alone time was a big must for me. It gave me time to gather my thoughts and deal with what was happening in my own way. I think a good mix of talking to loved ones and having enough alone time is key. It is okay to say “I need to talk” some days AND “I need to be alone” on the others.
I work in social media, sure… but I’ll be the first to admit that when you’re dealing with loss and grief, it can be good to sign off for a while. Even if it’s just for a few days, or putting your phone down when you are more vulnerable to feeling low – for me it’s the evenings I tend to avoid being online. It can be hard seeing everyones highlight reel when you feel at your lowest and some time away from the buzz of the online world can be a good break for your mind and emotions.
Having a physical object as a reminder of your baby is a comfort in tough times. Now, this may sound random but I went through a phase of collecting stones (yes, really) I went to the beach with Chris one day and kept four stones to represent my losses. I searched Pinterest for stone drawing (honestly, it’s a thing!) and wrote the ‘names’ on each stone. It was a great relief to me at the time and definitely helped in the process. I now have some plants in my garden in memory too, which is also a lovely way to acknowledge my losses. Memory boxes are also a lovely keepsake. You don’t have to look at these items often (or at all!) but just knowing they are there is a comfort in itself.